Sous vide cooking is a relatively new phenomenon and even newer for the home market. While professional restaurants have been cooking food in a water bath for quite some time (say, pulling out a steak and giving it a quick sear before plating), the home kitchen has not until recently joined in on the party. Recent advancements are making the method of cooking food in a precisely controlled heated water bath an easy reality for home consumers.
The Viante Home Products CUC-09SV Sous Vide Cooker is a countertop appliance that will further the prospects of this exciting cooking method becoming more familiar. Scheduled to become available for sale in October 2013, the device is in its final stages of preparation.
Design challenges include making the unit comfortable for the average consumer household, while utilizing the full capabilities of the specially-designed U.S.-made pump. In addition to the pump needing to be food safe and capable of handling high temperatures, sous vide cooking enthusiasts like to push the boundaries; as such, the unit is designed to able to be placed into continuous operation for up to 72 hours -- with the cutoff point more a matter of practicality than mechanical concern. Indeed, Lynn Neff, one of the designers of the project states:
"Because Sous Vide pasteurizes the food as it cooks it at temperatures above 130 degrees F one does not want to turn the unit off after the desired cooking time if unattended with food in it, and potentially let the temperature fall below 130 F. This is true with any cooking method. Also with Sous Vide removing the food from the cooking process at a precise time is unnecessary because the food will not overcook. For these reasons we use an elapsed cooking timer that records the time the food has been in the Sous Vide cooker at the target temperature."
The final form factor will see the device capable of "holding two racks of ribs, or 12 New York strip steaks." Of course, like waiting for any meal to be served, part of the process involves the anticipation. When asked, James McCusker, President of Viante Home Products responded, "As the factory has made great progress so far, I'm expecting an October 2013 intro with a top retailer already committed." Sounds like it might be soon time to set the table.